Among The Giants

Among The Giants
Photo: Getty Images

Born in an Assamese family involved with elephants for generations, for Parbati Baruah, the trumpeting calls of the gentle giants has always been a resounding background score in her life. Though she broke through the male-dominated profession by earning a formal certification in 1972, becoming India’s first female mahout, Baruah was determined to do more.

She participated in crucial projects for elephant conservation, mitigating human-elephant conflict, and rescuing distressed animals. She also went on to consult state governments who sought her help in capturing wild elephants and guiding them back to their natural habitats.

Baruah’s dedication transcends physical boundaries. She has shared her knowledge and insights at international conferences, advocating ethical treatment and sustainable coexistence with elephants. This year, she was also honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award, recognising her contributions to animal conservation and breaking gender stereotypes.

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